Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19/12 Hello Family!!!

How is everybody doing??? I'm glad that you all have your spirits up! Stay happy for me :) Today is my first p-day and I have been having a blast! The time is already going by so fast it feels like you just barely dropped me off sometimes. The MTC is really fun and cool. We have a ton of time to study things on our own and go at our own pace and I love it. The environment is fantastic as well.

My companion is a great guy. We get along well even though we are very different. His name is Elder Harper and I actually was friends with his brother Mario at USU. He is half Japanese and is stellar at the language. We make a great team and a lot of the other elders especially the sempai (elders who have been in longer) are really impressed with our skill level. We are really good and figuring out how to say what we want to say. My roommates are not too bad either. They are a lot of fun actually. They are really helpful whenever we have questions about stuff and have taught us a few tricks about getting things done more efficiently.

What I have mostly done so far is teach and prepare to teach in ALL Japanese! Our second day there we had to give our first lesson to an investigator that only spoke Japanese and it actually went pretty well! We taught him that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he has a plan for us. Since then we've taught him three more times and have gotten him to pray with us and read some about Joseph Smith. Tomorrow we are going to introduce him to the Book of Mormon and ask him to read a little bit of it. The best way to get better at Japanese is to learn how to say the things that you want to say in lessons and apply them. My district has a really cool teacher named Andrus Sensei. He is really fun and great at teaching. I think it would be amazing to teach here after I get home. Oh and I got called to be District Leader! It is a really cool responsibility. I have had some training meetings with the branch presidency which were really cool. My responsibilities are to conduct district meetings, uplift, inspire, and encourage. I also am the Elder that is supposed to get the mail. By the way, please let everyone know that if they want to write me that the best method is through Dear Elder.com. If they do that I'll get the letter here at the MTC the day that they send it. It made me really happy to get the physical letter from you guys and if you use dearelder then I'll get a physical copy that way too!

I hope work is going well for you Mom. I am excited about your new position and hope that everything goes well with it! I have been praying in almost all Japanese now, but I remember to pray for you guys every night. That's cool that trek is coming by so fast for everyone! I'm really happy that Mara and Adam get the opportunity to have that awesome experience. Make sure they have fun for me, ok? If you want you can send me pictures of Adam and Mara in their trek gear. Keep encouraging Mara to read her scriptures and getting ready for seminary! You should get Adam to sign up for institute! It was one of the best choices I ever made. Thanks for putting up the photos. I think everyone will be happy that they can see them. I wish I could've got more, but that's ok! Don't worry too much about tagging people and stuff. How did your anniversary go? That sounds exciting! I hope you were able to spend some good time together. Don't forget to love eachother lots and lots! Thanks for letting me know about Steve. I will pray for him to get better too. He is an amazing friend and his reactivation really built up my testimony a lot. Please let him know that.
I bet that the sunset in Tooele was nice! One of my favorite things about being here at the MTC are the mountains behind the temple. They are probably some of my favorite mountains ever. Let's see.... What else can I say about the MTC? I went to the temple with my district this morning and had a great session. The Provo temple is really beautiful inside and out. On Sunday my zone has a tradition of wearing all the same color of tie and we got some cool pictures of that outside the temple. I'm going to try to go to choir today so I'm excited for that. The food is not bad either. They don't always have my favorite kind of things, but I deal with it. They sometimes have things that are really good though so that's nice! They have desserts at pretty much every meal but I resist! I think I will only have a treat once a week ;) A lot of people have told me that my suit looks really sharp. Thanks for helping me pick out clothes that I like! I got a TON of books so I will probably have to send some of the P-day clothes I brought back and maybe some other things. We had a devotional from Sheri Dew that was really neat about not following the crowd and understanding the voice of the spirit. It was really neat and made me think about how I should do more to more fully understand and recognize the words of the spirit. It is pretty much the most important thing about teaching! The best lessons I've had are ones where we read stuff that we wrote in Japanese off a piece of paper less. My branch president is Krueger Kaicho(President). He is really an amazing example and loves us a lot. He shows it often through his advice and counsel to us. There are only three other missionaries going to Sapporo right now. There will probably be a lot more when the Nihon-jin (Japanese Missionaries) come. I am way excited for them to come and to talk to them. There are a lot of other missionaries going to the other missions in Japan though so my zone is pretty big. We have gym time too which is neat. There are so many different things to do, but I love sand volleyball the best so far. It's the only time we can take off our shoes and "dive".

So I only have two minutes left to type, but I love you guys so so much. I can feel your love and support almost all the time. It feels so different, but so good to be a missionary. It's hard to explain, but I just love it. Sometimes I can feel the presence of those that are in Hokkaido waiting for me to find them and teach them. You guys are the best! Try to be missionaries in your daily lives especially with the new Salt Lake West Mission!

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